The ability of women to fill the position of a leader has always been questioned. The men of the society still have trouble considering them as equal in the same position, let alone at a designation higher than theirs. However, the recent years have seen women proving the critics wrong by leading the world’s top companies as good as their male equivalents, if not better. The differences have begun to be seen in the more prestigious sectors of the world also, such as the national armies too, with the latest being Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi, who according to India Today, is set to become the first lady in the history of Indian Army to lead a contingent on Army Day.
A proud day for nation
The Army Day is celebrated every year on January 15 to honour the day Lieutenant General KM Cariappa took over General Sir Francis Butcher as Commander-in-chief of India in January 1949. The country will be celebrating its 71st Army Day and will see the Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi lead the Indian Army’s Service Corps (ASC) contingent, which comprises of 144 male personnel for the first time ever. The ASC, whose major role is to act as logistic support to the Army, is returning to the parade after a gap of 23 years.
First lady officer to lead a male contingent
While talking to the pioneer, Lt. Kasturi said that never before her has a lady officer led a jawans-only contingent. Before her Sub-Inspector Stanzin Noryang did lead a contingent which comprised of a total of 148 bold and daring women from across the country on the 66th republic day in 2015. Lt Kasturi applauded the army for this opportunity and says that it shows the positive change in the mindset of the whole organization. “This shows acceptance for women officers also,” she added. Lt. Kasturi has her centre in Banglore and will be coming from her regimental centre, accompanied by two male officers who have also been practising as contingent commanders.
2019, the year of beginnings
This year’s Parade will also see Captain Shikha Surabhi leading the Army’s Daredevils Motorcycle Display team for the first time ever. The team consists of 33 men riding nine bikes in a pyramid formation. This team is a part of the Army’s Corps of Signals- a combat support arm that holds a total of 24 world records, including a Guinness World Record too. Captain Sikha will be seen saluting the guests while the whole Daredevil contingent led by Major Manpreet Singh will ride behind her. This year’s parade will also see the display of M777A2 Ultra Light Howitzer and K9 Vajra-T artillery for the first time ever. These guns carry great importance to the army as they are the first major artillery procurement since the Bofors, that was bought in the 1980s and will be deployed along the nation’s frontiers with China and Pakistan.